In a money wiring scam, a dishonest person lies and tricks you into wiring money to them.

The scammer might say:you won a prize, or inherited money, but you have to pay fees first;

  • you won the lottery, but you have to pay some taxes first;
  • a friend or family member is in trouble and needs you to send money;
  • you need to pay for something you just bought online before they send it;
  • you got a check for too much money and you need to send back the extra.

These are all tricks.  If you wire money, the scammer will keep it and you will not get your money back.

Wiring money is like sending cash.  If someone you do not know asks you to wire money it is probably a scam. Scammers are clever and they try to make things look real. They are good at fooling people and they also want to rush you. They want your money before you have time to think, but before you do anything, stop and check.

If you have already wired money to someone who contacted you…that money is probably gone. Remember, if you gave money to a scammer once, you will probably be targeted again . The best thing you can do to help yourself and others is to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission.